Day 1 gets underway at Xcel Pro

HALE‘IWA — An exciting Day 1 concluded at the 2007 Xcel Pro presented by No Fear.

Conditions improved through the day in clean surf on the point at Sunset Beach. Stable offshore winds cooperated, and wave faces increased through the day from 3 to 6 feet, reaching 10 feet in the second round of competition.

World champion in 2000 and Xcel Pro winner in 1992 Sunny Garcia dominated his Round 1 heat, with a combined wave total of 16.50 — the highest combined score of that entire first round. Competing in his first event after returning to Hawai‘i, Garcia will surf again in Round 2 when the contest’s second day kicks off.

Joel Centeio scored the highest wave total of the day with an 18.84 score that included a 9.67 ride — the best-scored wave of Day 1. Centeio will face off against current Men’s WQS ratings leader Jordy Smith and fellow Hawaiians Tory Barron and Torrey Meister in Round 3.

Kaua‘i’s Roy Powers, currently the highest-rated Hawaiian on the Men’s WQS, turned in consistently strong performances, winning both his Round 1 and 2 heats. Powers qualified for the WCT in 2006, and locals are keeping an eye out for Kaua‘i representation on next year’s world tour.

“Very glad to have gotten Day 1 going,” Xcel President Ed D’Ascoli said in a release. “We saw some great surfing out there today. This size Sunset is one of the most high-performance, fun waves on the North Shore. Definitely makes for an exciting contest — challenging those guys to take full advantage of the waves that come through.”

If the swell holds through the night, Day 2 of competition was expected to resume yesterday when the ninth heat of Round 2 is scheduled to hit the water.

Also set to surf during Day 2 is 2006 Xcel Pro defending champion Evan Valiere of Kaua‘i, as well as 2006 event finalists Michel Bourez, Gavin Beschen, and Makua Rothman.

The 4-Star 2007 Xcel Pro Presented by No Fear is the only WQS contest held on O‘ahu’s North Shore before the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing begins next month. The talented local and international field will battle for valuable ratings points and a $75,000 total purse.

Surf News Network is the official contest hotline at 596-SURF. For more, visit the contest Web site at


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